Zoning in on Justin De Fratus
Zoning in on the 2016 Mariners is a daily series in which we’ll examine one player every day, 30 total, in the lead-up to Opening Day. We’ll explain their role on the field, what they’re like off of it and provide highlights and photos. On deck tomorrow: Mike Zunino.
There have been a number of themes in Jerry Dipoto’s efforts to retool the Mariners roster. There’s improving athleticism, adding depth, playing to the ballpark and, of course, looking for guys capable of having big bounce-back years. The subject of today’s post fits well in that last category.
It’s relief pitcher Justin De Fratus, who was signed in early December after spending his professional career to date with the Phillies.
“Justin gives us another young, Major League-ready arm in the mix for our bullpen,” Dipoto said after the signing. “He brings us one step closer to the type of depth we believe is required to be truly competitive in this league. Justin remains a young pitcher with good stuff who has been both durable and resilient as a Major Leaguer, while also being just one year removed from an excellent 2014 season.”
In 2014, De Fratus threw 52.2 innings for the Phillies, putting up a 2.39 ERA—which was in the top 40 of all Major League relievers in 2014 who threw at least 50 innings.
“I know I’m a good big league pitcher,” De Fratus said recently in speaking with Greg Johns of Mariners.com. “I know the years I had before were not a fluke. You always see these stories about new environments and things working out for people. Am I going to be able to pinpoint anything? No. The only thing I can control is my mechanics to the point where I can forget about them. I want to drill them down here in Spring Training so I can forget about them and just go get people out.”
That’s the goal for any reliever, to just go get people out. The competition for roles in bullpen continues in the coming weeks.
Off the Field
In his spare time, De Fratus enjoys playing guitar, including writing and recording music.
This isn’t completely off the field, but it’s a funny story nonetheless. At his professional debut in 2011—with his his parents, two brothers, an uncle, a cousin and two friends at the game—one of his brothers, Chris, actually caught a foul ball hit off Justin.
More in the Zoning in on the 2016 Mariners series
- Norichika Aoki
- Luis Sardinas
- Chris Taylor
- Boog Powell
- Nathan Karns
- Vidal Nuno
- On deck for tomorrow: Mike Zunino
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